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Posts Tagged "honeybee"

Not bad science

Inside the Wonderful World of Bee Cognition – Where We’re at Now

A bumblebee drinks sugar water from an artificial flower and learns to return to yellow flowers in the future

As I wrote about in my last post, bees are capable of learning which flowers offer good nectar rewards based on floral features such as colour, smell, shape, texture, pattern, temperature and electric charge. They do this through associative learning: learning that a ‘conditioned stimulus’ (for example, the colour yellow) is associated with an ‘unconditioned [...]

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Not bad science

Inside the Wonderful World of Bee Cognition – How it All Began

Most research on bee cognition uses honeybees and bumblebees

One of the first things I get asked when I tell people that I work on bee cognition (apart from ‘do you get stung a lot?’) is ‘bees have cognition?’. I usually assume that this question shouldn’t be taken literally otherwise it would mean that whoever was asking me this thought that there was a [...]

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Not bad science

Cooling down in honeybees is affected by what others are doing

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In my previous post, I talked about how crickets were influenced by who was watching them when they performed a victory dance after winning a fight. Although this is a unique finding, it fits into a larger picture of many animals (including insects) being affected by their social context. At the animal behaviour conference I [...]

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Observations

Are Zombie Bees Infiltrating Your Neighborhood?

parasite flies and zombie bee

Zombie bees are not science fiction. They are real—and real threat to already-threatened U.S. honeybee populations. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) in California and South Dakota have been observed acting zombielike, wandering away from their hives at night and crawling around blindly in circles. These insects have been rendered insensate by a parasitizing fly that lays eggs [...]

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Observations

Common Pesticide Implicated Bee Colony Collapse Disorder

honeybee flower

Honeybee colonies have been mysteriously dying off all over the globe, leaving scientists scratching their heads—and important crops languishing in the fields unpollinated. Viruses, mites, pesticides and poor food choices have been fingered as potential culprits. And three new studies in the past week are taking aim at one of the most common types of [...]

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Observations

Personality Might Be Genetically Encoded in Bee Brains

bee personality

Honeybees (Apis mellifera) are more than cookie-cutter drones, workers, foragers and queens. They might have individual personality differences similar to our own, according to new research. After studying hives—both in the wild and in the lab—and analyzing genetic and biochemical profiles of bees’ brains, researchers have found that some bees, like some humans, seem to [...]

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